The Railway Builders - A Chronicle of Overland Highways
by Oscar D. Skelton
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The Grand Trunk of 1914 was a much greater factor in the life of Canada than the Grand Trunk of 1894; it had become nation-wide in its interests, and had shaken off the unfortunate traditions of its earlier stagnant {219} days. Difficult tasks still faced it: the building up of the traffic of the far north would demand ceaseless effort, and when the wheel of time should bring round slackened business once more, it would call for all its powers to make ends meet in face of rising wages, taxes, outlays of every kind. The record of the recent past gave assurance that the need would be met with courage and alert endeavour.

[1] One recent acquisition, the Toronto Belt Railway, to meet a rental of $19,000 and working expenses of $22,500, had gross receipts of less than $5000 a year.

[2] The Chicago, Milwaukee and Puget Sound, a high-grade road built to the Pacific coast at nearly the same time, was capitalized, it may be noted, at $157,000 a mile, or nearly $70,000 a mile more than the cost of the Grand Trunk Pacific and National Transcontinental.




The Canadian Pacific—The Great Northern—International Connections—Government Roads—The Intercolonial—On to Hudson Bay—Opening up New Ontario

All the restless activity upon the part of its older and its younger rival did not rob the Canadian Pacific of the place it had held in the life and interest of the Canadian people. With a confident assurance based on the extent and the strategic location of its lines, the imperial richness of its endowment, and the proved efficiency of its management, it pressed steadily forward until it became the world's foremost transportation system.

The unbroken success and the magnitude of the operations of the Canadian Pacific in this period are almost without precedent in railway annals. By 1914 it had under its control more than eighteen thousand miles of railway, or more than six times the length of the original transcontinental line. It gave employment directly to ninety thousand men, whose monthly pay-roll reached five million dollars, and indirectly maintained many more, {221} justifying the boast of its president in 1907 that directly or indirectly one-twelfth of the people of Canada received their income from the Canadian Pacific. In 1913 alone, the supreme year of Canadian railway expansion, the Canadian Pacific appropriated for new construction and betterments, equipment, terminal facilities, steamships and hotels, shops and elevators, nearly one hundred million dollars, or more than the original cost of the road. It touched the life of the nation at every conceivable point. From Atlantic to Pacific there was scarcely a town of any importance that was not reached by its lines. But its position was not merely national. It controlled over five thousand miles of railways in the United States, taking rank amongst the foremost systems of the Republic. Its steamship lines stretched more than half-way round the world, and in Liverpool and Trieste, Hong-Kong and Yokohama and Sydney, the red-and-white house flag of the Canadian Pacific made the company and the country known.

The management of the Canadian Pacific showed stability and continuity. It trained up in its own ranks the men for its highest posts. Sir George Stephen, later Lord Mount {222} Stephen, on resigning the presidency in 1888, had been succeeded by Mr, afterwards Sir, William C. Van Horne. As general manager, and then for eleven years as president, Van Horne carried the road through its most difficult period. In spite of failure of crops, low prices, and the slow trickling in of settlers, he kept aglow his own faith in the West and communicated it to others. Indomitable courage, tenacity of purpose, breadth of vision, mastery of organization and detail marked him as one of the great railroad builders of the century. Even when he retired from the presidency, becoming for another twelve years chairman of the board of directors, it was only to find new outlets for his energy in building pulp and paper mills in Quebec and railways in Cuba; for though, unlike many millionaires, he had not narrowed into his own business groove, and could paint a picture as well as buy one, the call to action never failed to stir him.

When Van Horne came to the Canadian Pacific in 1882, he brought with him the man destined to be his successor, Thomas G. Shaughnessy, a young Irish-American still under thirty, who had been engaged in railway work since he was sixteen. Appointed {223} general purchasing agent, he rose rapidly, becoming president in 1899 and chairman of the board in 1911. Sir Thomas Shaughnessy maintained the progressive policy and the honourable record of straightforward management which has distinguished the Canadian Pacific—a railway singularly free from the questionable manipulations which have brought so many great American systems to bankruptcy. Other men left their impress on the road: men like Sir William Whyte, for over twenty years in charge of the western lines, David M'Nicoll, and George M. Bosworth and many others, gave most effective service.

After the first hurried staking out of the claim was over, by 1890, the Canadian Pacific refrained from further expansion until about 1898: between these years only three hundred miles were added to the system. Then reviving prosperity and the activity of rival roads led to a new period of expansion. The additions made in this time can best be realized by a glance at the map (opposite next page). The most important may be noted briefly, beginning at the Pacific coast.

On Vancouver Island, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, which had been projected {224} originally when it was hoped that Canada's first transcontinental would find its terminus at Victoria by crossing the straits from Bute Inlet, was acquired from the Dunsmuir interests. On the mainland of British Columbia activity was concentrated in the southern section. The rich mineral discoveries in the Boundary country led to the extension of the Canadian Pacific westward from Lethbridge, through the Crow's Nest Pass. The company was given a Dominion subsidy, and in return a general reduction of rates was secured. After years of contention with the Hill roads which were crowding into the same territory, and in face of immense engineering difficulties, a continuation of this line by way of Penticton gave promise of a second through route. Meanwhile, entrance was secured to Spokane and Portland in the United States. In the plains and prairie section a close network of lines developed. The narrow-gauge line of the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company, which had done good pioneer service, under the guidance of Elliott Galt, in developing Alberta's possibilities in coal and irrigated land, was absorbed in 1911. The northern country was traversed by two new east and west lines. The Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and {225} Saskatchewan, extending from Regina to Prince Albert, lost to the Canadian Northern in 1906, was replaced by a new line and 'cutoffs' and extensions built in every quarter. South of the border equal activity was displayed in throwing out feeders for the Soo and Duluth lines. The acquisition of the Wisconsin Central in 1909 gave the Canadian Pacific entrance into Chicago, while an agreement with the Wabash made it possible to link up its western United States lines with its southern Ontario road at Detroit. In Ontario, a branch from Toronto to Sudbury made the Canadian Pacific independent of the Grand Trunk's North Bay link, an extension from Guelph to Goderich tapped a fertile country, a line from Port M'Nicoll on Georgian Bay to Bethany near Peterborough gave a short through route for grain, a lake shore route eastward from Toronto provided access to the towns which the Grand Trunk, in its promoters' concern for through traffic or in its contractors' desire for low land charges, had side-tracked, while stock purchase and later a lease of the Kingston and Pembroke gave entrance into Kingston. In Quebec, short tentacles were pushed up into the Laurentian hills north of Ottawa; south of the St Lawrence the chief step taken {226} was the 999-year lease of the Quebec Central, sanctioned in 1912. In the Maritime Provinces the New Brunswick Southern or Shore line and the Dominion Atlantic, successor to the Windsor and Annapolis, were leased in 1911, and running rights secured over the Intercolonial into Halifax.

A marked feature of the Canadian Pacific policy from the beginning was the endeavour to control subsidiary or allied activities, and thus gain well-rounded independence. Its steamship lines came to girdle half the world. On the Pacific, service to Hong-Kong and Yokohama had begun in 1892 and to Australia in 1893, while a service on the coast from Seattle to the far north, and on the lakes of central British Columbia, followed. The Great Lakes fleet was still earlier in being. In 1903 the purchase of fourteen Elder-Dempster vessels ranging from five to eight thousand tons gave a whole North Atlantic fleet for seven millions, or the cost of a single Lusitania. It was soon increased by larger and faster boats. A line to Trieste, to secure a share of the immigration traffic from Eastern Europe, led to prolonged complications with the Austrian government early in 1914, on account of the hostility of German rivals. {227} Hotels followed steamships, some eight or ten being erected at strategic points from St Andrews to Victoria. Departing from the usual American practice, the company owned and operated its own sleeping-cars, and maintained its own express and telegraph companies. Its car-shops provided much of its rolling stock. Grain elevators were built at terminal points. In the later years a systematic policy of developing its western lands was adopted. A special department of Natural Resources was established, irrigation works were begun on a huge scale in the tract of three million acres between Calgary and Medicine Hat, and ready-made farms were provided or loans made to selected settlers.

The method of financing these countless enterprises was equally striking. Instead of increasing the proportion of bonded indebtedness, as was customary, the company sought additional capital chiefly by the sale of common stock. This procedure was possible because of the speculative value of the stock, based primarily on the growth of traffic, and of the value of the western lands still unsold: the dividend rose steadily to ten per cent in 1912, and the practice which prevailed until 1909 of issuing the stock at par gave holders {228} valuable rights. In the latter year 125 was charged for the shares allotted, in 1912 150, and in 1913 175. As a result of the earlier policy an unnecessarily high price was paid for new capital, but fixed charges were kept low, and no great system was as safe from foreclosure. In 1914 the total assets of the company were valued at over $800,000,000.

Fifth in mileage among the railway systems of Canada is the group of fragments connected with the Great Northern Railway of the United States. James J. Hill had not been least among the members of the original Canadian Pacific Syndicate, but differences with his colleagues led to his retirement in 1883. Thenceforward he devoted himself entirely to the building up of the St Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba, the railway acquired from the Dutch bondholders. Under the name of the Great Northern it had been extended by 1893 from Lake Superior to Puget Sound, and continued to grow steadily until, twenty years later, it controlled nearly eight thousand miles. The Great Northern was remarkable in at least three respects. Except for the original grants for the Minnesota lines, it was built through to the coast {229} without a dollar or an acre of subsidy from the state. Its capitalization was kept close to the actual cost of the road and its fixed charges were low. It took the lead among American roads in an aggressive and enlightened endeavour to build up the country through which it ran, not only by flexible rate charges, but by a direct campaign of education among the farmers and other shippers on its route.

The mineral wealth of southern British Columbia and the farming wealth of the western plains turned Hill's attention toward Canada once more about the beginning of the twentieth century. In British Columbia the progress of the Great Northern invasion was slow. The character of the country made construction difficult, and the Canadian Pacific, appealing to national prejudices, fought every inch of the way. But Mr Hill pressed on. The coal-fields of the Crow's Nest Pass, in which he acquired a controlling interest, were made accessible by a road from the south, and a series of lines branching from Spokane entered the Boundary mining region. Winding in and out across the border the road continued westward to Vancouver. Fortunately duplication was in large part avoided; by arrangements with the Canadian Pacific, the {230} Canadian Northern, and the Northern Pacific, the difficult country south of the Fraser was pierced by common lines, and common terminal facilities were secured. Meanwhile, in 1906 and 1907, more ambitious schemes were announced—the building of north and south lines through Brandon and Regina, and the construction of an east and west line from Winnipeg to the Pacific. In ten years, it was officially forecasted, the Great Northern would have as extensive a system in Canada as in the United States. What was more startling, Mr Hill denounced 'spoon-feeding,' and did not ask for a cent of subsidy. The building of the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Northern postponed indefinitely these larger plans. Actual operations were confined to the construction of branches running northward in Manitoba, to Brandon, Morden, and Portage la Prairie, and the acquisition, jointly with the Northern Pacific, of a lease of the Canadian Northern line from Pembina to Winnipeg, under the name of the Midland, and of terminals in Winnipeg. Meanwhile, as the map shows, branches from the main Great Northern line nosed up to the border at nearly a dozen other places.

The activities, real and projected, of the {231} Great Northern in Canada brought up acutely the question of the interrelations of Canadian and American roads. To some these activities appeared evidences of an infamous plot to drain Canadian traffic southward to United States ports and roads: to others they seemed to be philanthropic endeavours to rescue Western Canada from the clutches of monopoly. They were not, however, due to either political intrigue or knight-errantry, but to the same desire for profit which had led the Canadian Pacific to build up its great system in the western states. Other things being at all equal, it was of course desirable that Canadian traffic should follow Canadian territory to Canadian ports; it was to this end that uncounted millions had been spent. Yet patriotism had a seamy reverse side of political buncombe. Every hint of outside competition in the preserves of railway or industrial corporations in Canada was denounced in interested quarters as dangerous and empire-smashing, while the counter-incursions into the territory of the United States were ignored or regarded as merely normal business enterprise.

As a matter of fact, in 1914 Canadian railways controlled four miles in the United {232} States for every mile in Canada controlled by railways of the United States. The Canadian Pacific alone owned or leased over five thousand miles in the United States, chiefly in the northwest, while it had close working agreements with the Wabash and the New York, New Haven and Hartford. The Grand Trunk controlled over seventeen hundred miles, two-thirds in the Michigan peninsula and the remainder in New England, while the Canadian Northern ran for some forty miles through the United States, south of the Lake of the Woods. The American interests in Canada were more scattered, but the Great Northern, the Michigan Central, the Pere Marquette, and the New York Central all developed important Canadian extensions.

In short, the interrelations were certainly no more extensive than would have been expected in the case of two friendly nations lying side by side for three thousand miles, connected by ties of speech and by common commercial and social customs. The only difficulty which arose out of the situation was the division of jurisdiction between the Railway Commission of Canada and the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States. The heads of the two commissions, Mr Justice {233} Mabee for Canada and Mr Knapp for the United States, endeavoured in 1910 to work out a plan for joint control, but without final success.

In the past half-century government ownership of railways has been much discussed in Canada, dividing attention with the allied question of railway ownership of the government. It cannot be said that any decisive public opinion or policy has resulted. Important steps toward government ownership have been taken in the last twenty years. The Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railways have been retained by the government and extended, a federal line has been built in Manitoba and a provincial one in Northern Ontario, and the National Trans-continental has been constructed by the government for lease to a private company. Yet, at the same time, the main railway projects continued to be entrusted to private companies, and the proportion of the whole mileage under private operation increased.

The most important incident in the Intercolonial's later history was its extension from Quebec to Montreal in 1898, by the purchase of the Drummond County Railway and the lease of a stretch of forty miles in length from {234} the Grand Trunk. Six years later the Canada Eastern, running from Gibson to Loggieville, was purchased. Many bankrupt lines in the Maritime Provinces and Quebec were offered to the Intercolonial as valuable feeders. In the later years of the government of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and in the first years of Sir Robert Borden's administration, authority was sought to acquire such of these roads as might be desired, but restrictions due to the action of the Canadian Senate or the political difficulty of discriminating between the railways prevented any rapid acquisition. Changes in administration were tried. As a half-concession to the demand that the Intercolonial should be operated by an independent commission, a board of management was established in 1909, consisting of the chief officials of the road. In 1913 this board was dissolved and the management vested in a single commissioner, F. P. Gutelius, formerly of the Canadian Pacific.

Financial returns showed little improvement. True, the record, unbroken since 1873, of annual failure to meet even operating expenses, was varied after 1898 by small surpluses in two years out of three, but the net deficits since Confederation rose to over eleven {235} millions by 1913; and while there was no question that the administration had been improved, there was room for belief that the surpluses had been in part book-keeping ones, obtained by including in the large capital expenditure items properly chargeable to revenue.

At first sight this failure to meet operating expenses, much less to pay interest on the investment, together with constantly increasing capital outlay, seemed to warrant strong condemnation of government methods. And, in truth, a serious indictment could be framed. Efficient government ownership is more difficult in a democratic country where shippers, employees, would-be employees, supply dealers, all have influence over the administration, than it is in a bureaucratic state. Intercolonial employees were given their posts and kept in them by political influence, and their numbers were often as excessive as energy was lacking. Supplies of coal and new land as required were usually purchased from political friends, with an additional margin for campaign contributions;[1] at election times the {236} road became a vast political machine. Under the administration of the governments of Laurier and Borden the grosser scandals ceased, but in one form or other political influence continued to be exerted.

Yet this was not the whole story. If the Intercolonial did not earn dividends, there were other reasons at work than government inefficiency. The road ran for long stretches through barren country where little local traffic originated. In competing for through traffic it was handicapped by the roundabout length of its route: it ran along two sides of a triangle, while the Canadian Pacific, subsidized by one political party, was built along the base, and the National Transcontinental, built by the other party, came in between; in summer it had to face the competition of the St Lawrence route as well. Nor was dividend-earning the sole standard of success to be applied. The Intercolonial was built originally for political and military ends, not merely for commercial gain. It had given shippers the lowest rates in the world: 'the surplus is in the pockets of the people,' one of the political heads declared. If, it was often urged, the canals of Ontario and Quebec were operated by the government at a dead {237} loss, without a cent of tolls, why grudge the Maritime Provinces, to whom Confederation had been less kind, the benefit of operating at bare cost the government railways! The Intercolonial had undoubtedly done much to weld the eastern and central provinces together, and this was worth more than a million dollars or two in interest charges.

The desire for rates at cost, or lower, which has made the people in Eastern Canada oppose all suggestions to turn over the Intercolonial to the Canadian Pacific or Canadian Northern, led those of Western Canada to urge government ownership of the other federal venture, the Hudson Bay Railway. Owing to its far northern position, Manitoba possesses ocean ports, Nelson and Churchill, which are nearer Liverpool than New York is. Why, then, carry the grain of the prairie fifteen hundred or two thousand miles to an Atlantic port before loading it on the ocean freighter? Proposals to build a railway to a Hudson Bay port and to establish a steamship line to carry the traffic at sea seemed plausible and won much western support. Investigation soon made the difficulties clear. Hudson Bay was fairly free from ice, but Hudson Straits were studded with icebergs far into the summer. {238} Ships of special construction would be needed for the dangerous passage, and, in any event, grain could not be shipped until the spring after it was harvested and would have to be stored in elevators during the winter. And in the meantime the three transcontinental railways were enlarging the eastern funnels, while the Panama Canal made an outlet by Vancouver feasible. Still, there was a gambling chance that something would come of a railway to Hudson Bay, and if the stroke succeeded, Canada would be given a new coast, and would front the sea at the north as well as at the east and the west. The territory between Le Pas, a terminus of the Canadian Northern, and Port Nelson, selected as the better port on Hudson Bay, had some mineral and agricultural promise. So, in the prosperous days of 1911, it was decided to attempt the work. As it was largely an experiment, the government's plan of state construction and possibly operation found wide support. The line was still under construction in 1914.

Another exploration road which amply justified the faith of its promoters was the Timiskaming and Northern Ontario. This railway, striking up from North Bay into the mineral region and clay belt beyond the {239} height-of-land, was begun by the Ontario government in 1902 as a colonization road. It was fortunate enough to uncover the riches of Cobalt's silver-camp in its construction; later, mining development at Gowganda and Porcupine brought it traffic; and the building of the Grand Trunk Pacific made it an important connecting link. It was able, then, from the outset to show favourable results, direct as well as indirect. It was built and controlled by a government commission, efficient and more or less free from politics.

[1] The deputy-minister, Mr Collingwood Schreiber, instanced in 1882 an attempt of a farmer, whose claim was nursed by influential politicians, to collect $70,000 for a gravel-pit liberally estimated to be worth $5.




The Question of State Aid—The Railway Commission—Progress in Service—The Unknown Builders

When the pace of construction slackened in 1914, Canada had achieved a remarkable position in the railway world. Only five other countries—the United States, Russia, Germany, India, and, by a small margin, France—possessed a greater mileage; and, relatively to population, none came anywhere near her. Three great systems stretched from coast to coast. Need still existed for local extensions, but by a great effort the main trunk lines had been built. Not only in mileage were the railways of Canada notable. In the degree to which the minor roads had been swallowed up by a few dominating systems, in the wide sweep of their outside operations, in their extension beyond the borders of Canada itself, and in the degree to which they had been built by public aid, they challenged attention. While there were nearly ninety railway companies in Canada in 1914, the three {241} transcontinental systems controlled more than eighty per cent of the total mileage. The variety of the subsidiary undertakings—steamships, hotels, express service, irrigation and land development, grain elevators—has already been indicated. The control by Canadian railways of seven or eight thousand miles of lines in the United States, with corresponding, if smaller, extensions into Canada by American lines, was an outcome of geographic conditions, intimate social and trade connections, and a civilized view of international relations which no other countries could match.

The aid given by the state had been remarkable in variety and in extent. In cash subsidies alone, up to 1913, municipalities, chiefly in Ontario, had given over $18,000,000; the provinces, in the order of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and British Columbia, double that sum; and the Dominion $163,000,000. Land-grants exceeded fifty million acres. Guarantees reached $275,000,000—the Dominion, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba leading—with some sixty millions looming up in the year to follow. The privately owned railways of the Dominion were then capitalized {242} at a billion and a half; allowing for the 'water' in this capitalization on the one hand, and for construction out of earnings on the other, it may fairly be computed that, omitting the guarantees, the state had contributed from one-third to one-half their cost. The objections to this policy were manifold. It had been one great source of rottenness in politics. It had pauperized some sections of the country, leading them to look to the government to take the initiative in every movement. The land subsidies had delayed settlement, and the exemption of grants from taxation had pressed heavily on the average settler. The wealth of Canada tended to concentrate in a few dominating groups. Roads were built that were a sheer waste of capital, useless for traffic or colonization, or recklessly cutting into territory sufficient only for existing lines. Yet the profits side of the account was large. Settlement had been hastened, transport facilities had been provided, values had increased, social intercourse had been ameliorated, national unity had been fostered, in ways impossible had private enterprise been left to struggle on unaided. In future, it might be hoped, private capital could build unaided, or the state act directly.


In the allied field of government regulation progress had been made. Until very recent years, Canada had been more anxious to get new railways than to control old ones, and, besides, the worse forms of discrimination which stirred indignation in the United States had not been widely practised in Canada. But with the growing complexity of the industrial organization, and the recognition that competition could not solve the difficulties, a demand rose for more efficient regulation. The Dominion government, acting upon an able and thorough report by Dr S. J. M'Lean, established in 1904 a Railway Commission, permanent, non-political, and large enough to make it possible for its members, singly or jointly, to hear complaints in all sections of the Dominion. Later, telegraph, telephone, and express rates and services were added to its jurisdiction. Hampered by few of the constitutional limitations which have lessened the usefulness of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and guided by efficient businesslike heads—Blair, Killam, Mabee, Drayton—it soon established a unique reputation for fairness, promptness, and common sense.

But it is not merely in mileage or in relationship {244} to the state that change has come in the three-quarters of a century since the first locomotive whistle was heard in Canada. Let us glance at some of the more striking changes in equipment and methods of operation. In the road bed, new standards of solidity have been set, grades cut down and curves straightened at a cost of uncounted millions, busy stretches double-tracked, steel bridges built in place of wooden trestles. The greatest single advance was the substitution, in the eighties chiefly, of steel for iron rails, making construction cheaper and repair easier, and permitting the running of heavier and faster trains. Heavier trains in turn brought heavier rails, eighty to one hundred pounds to the yard being the usual weight on main tracks, instead of forty or fifty in early days. Locomotives grew steadily in size from the Kitten of 1837 to the huge Mallet of to-day. Freight engines were differentiated from passenger engines. Coal was substituted for wood as fuel, and in some cases oil for coal. Electricity replaced steam in tunnels and other places where smoke was troublesome. The crude little freight cars, carrying four or five tons, gave way to cars carrying thirty tons or more, specialized for all conceivable purposes, {245} from cattle and coal cars and oil tanks to refrigerator cars for fruit or meats or milk. Passenger coaches, following, as in other matters, American rather than English models, underwent a similar change, and improved steadily in size, strength, and convenience. The formal division into classes which marks European railway travel has not taken root in Canada; but between Pullman and parlour cars, first and second classes, the actual variety is great. Train dispatching, at first by telegraph, and latterly by telephone, has become a fine art; safety devices such as the air-brake, and more slowly block signals, have been adopted. The old confusing diversity of local time has been remedied by the adoption of a zone system, in consequence largely of the persistent advocacy of Sir Sandford Fleming. Thus the increase in mileage by no means represents the increase in service rendered: every year the engines grow more powerful, the cars larger and the trains longer, and the freight service more speedy and trustworthy. True, the service is still far from perfect, and when a heavy snowstorm paralyses traffic, or the diversion to new competitive building of money which should have gone into equipment brings about congestion, {246} vigorous denunciation follows these brief reversions to the traffic conditions of the good old days.

There is no work that man has wrought that would give nobler and more enduring title to fame than the great cathedrals which mediaeval Europe bequeathed to the world. Yet no man's name is linked with theirs. They were the work of generations, of an epoch, the expression of the genius and the labour and the worship of uncounted thousands. There is a whole world of difference between the mediaeval cathedral and the modern railway, but this they have in common, that they are the work not of a few hands but of many, not a sudden creation, but the product of labours continued year after year. Leaders were indispensable; we cannot forget the men who planned and the men who carried through and the men who organized the working of the great railway systems. Keefer and Fleming, Poor and Waddington, Galt and Hincks and Howe, Macdonald and Laurier, Mount Stephen and Strathcona, Van Horne and Hays, Shaughnessy and Mackenzie, these and many more, though often bearing feet of clay, we shall honour as builders of a mighty heritage.


But behind these loom up forgotten myriads who also were indispensable. The surveyor, often an explorer as well, striking out into the wilderness, braving sheer precipice and arctic blizzard in search of mountain pass or lower grade; the man with the pick and shovel, a mighty and ever-shifting army—English navvy, Irish canaller, Chinese coolie, Swede or Italian or Ruthenian—housed in noisome bunkhouses, often fleeced by employment agent or plundering sub-contractor, facing sudden death by reckless familiarity with dynamite or slower death by typhoid and dysentery; the men who carried on the humdrum work of every day, track-mending, ticket-punching, engine-stoking; the patient, unmurmuring payer of taxes for endless bonuses—these, too, were perhaps not least among the Railway Builders of Canada.



There are surprisingly few secondary books dealing with Canadian railway history available for the general reader. The admirable treatise by Dr S. J. M'Lean, 'National Highways Overland,' in vol. x of Canada and Its Provinces, is much the best. Trout, The Railways of Canada (1871), and the article by T. C. Keefer in Eighty Years' Progress of British North America (1863), are useful for the early period, but are scarce. There is, however, a wealth of first-hand material—pamphlets, travellers' notes, company reports, Hansard debates, committee inquiries, and departmental returns. The largest collections of such material are to be found in the Parliamentary Library, Ottawa, the Library of the Department of Railways and Canals, the Toronto Public Library, and the Library of Queen's University, Kingston.

For progress from year to year since 1901, see Castell Hopkins, The Canadian Annual Review, vol. i et seq. See also, in this Series, The Day of Sir John Macdonald and The Day of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.



Alberta, railways in, 184, 216, 224; grants in aid, 192, 241.

Allan, Sir Hugh, and the Pacific Scandal, 122-7.

America, North, ways of access into, 29-30; and transport development, 30-5.

Angus, R. B., and the Canadian Pacific Syndicate, 135, 136 n., 137, 151.

Ashburton Treaty, the, 57-8.

Blair, Andrew G., minister of Railways, 208.

Blake, Edward, his opposition to the C.P.R. contract, 143-5, 157 N.

Borden, Sir Robert, and the Canadian Northern, 191, 192.

Brassey, Betts, Peto and Jackson, railway contractors in the Maritime Provinces, 66-67, 69, 73, 75; in Canada, 70, 72-6, 79, 80, 81 and note, 83.

British Columbia, its terms of union with Canada, 115, 116, 128, 130; railway grants in aid, 192, 241.

Broun, Sir Richard, his railway, 58.

Buchanan, Isaac, promotes the Great Western, 47.

Canada, before the advent of the railway, 12-14, 19-26, 109-113; development of water transport, 14-16, 33-5; of land transport, 16-19; her railway policy, 27-30, 49-55, 64, 69-71, 169-72, 176, 190, 191, 209, 211, 233-9, 241-3; railway building, 36-49, 84-5, 93, 98, 182-3; the Grand Trunk, 71-74, 81-2, 83, 88-90, 94, 187; the Intercolonial, 106-8; the C.P.R., 116, 122-9, 139-50, 158-9, 164-5, 176-7, 224; a 'boom' period, 85, 181-2, 196; the Canadian Northern, 190-1, 192, 194; a period of depression, 197-8, 202; the Grand Trunk Pacific, 206-11, 213-15; railway interrelations with United States, 231, 232-3, 241; government roads, 108, 233-239; Canada's position in the railway world, 240-1. See Railways.

Canada Central Railway, 100, 128, 173.

Canada North-West Land Company, 153.

Canada Southern Railway, 40, 98-9, 104.

Canadian Northern Railway, 92; building of, 183, 185-9, 230, 232; financing of, 190-5; other enterprises, 195, 211.

Canadian Pacific Railway, the great demand for, 114-17; the survey and route, 117-20, 129, 160-1, 162-3; the Pacific Scandal, 120-7; the syndicate, 130-42, 150-2; terms of building contract, 141-50, 172-173; financing of, 139-42, 147-150, 152-9, 181, 227-8, 236; its construction, 128, 159-68; development eastward, 173-175; further expansion, 175-178, 223-6, 232; and other railways, 139-40, 173-6, 186, 203, 215, 225; the world's foremost transportation system, 220-1, 226-7.

Canadian Pacific Syndicate, the, 130-42, 150-2.

Capreol, F. C., his ingenious financing scheme, 48.

Caraquet Railway Company, 171 n.

Cartier, Sir George, 107; and the C.P.R. contract, 123, 124, 125 n.

Central Vermont Railway, 101, 122 n., 174, 204.

Chamberlin, Edson J., president of the Grand Trunk, 202, 215.

Champlain and St Lawrence Railway, 36-8, 39, 40, 49-50.

Chandler, E. B., 53; his railway mission, 63, 65-6.

Cox, George A., 143, 179.

Elgin, Lord, governor-general of Canada, 72.

England, the locomotive contest in, 1-5; her lead in railway development, 7-10. See Great Britain.

European and North American Railway, 60-2, 64, 68-9, 102, 174.

Farley, Jesse P., and the Canadian Pacific Syndicate, 132, 137 n.

Fleming, Sir Sandford, 245, 246; and the Intercolonial, 56-7, 106-8, 117; and the C.P.R., 114, 117-20, 178.

Galt, Sir A. T., 172; his railway enterprises, 44, 45, 70, 71, 74-6, 77, 81 n., 84, 114, 246.

Gladstone, W. E., colonial secretary, 59.

Grand Trunk Railway, 38; building and financing of, 71-84, 87, 94, 95, 97, 99, 104-5, 122-3, 187, 232; and the C.P.R., 155, 174, 178-80; in low water, 196-9; changes of administration and material, 200-2, 218-19; eastern activities, 203-5; westward expansion, 205-6, 208, 211, 214. See Grand Trunk Pacific.

Grand Trunk Pacific, 205; the demand for, 209; question of the route, 207-8, 210, 215-18; building and financing of, 208-9, 211-15, 217.

Grant, Rev. George M., 117.

Great Britain, her railway mileage in 1846, 38; her railway policy in Canada, 54-5, 106; in the Maritime Provinces, 59, 60, 62-6, 73. See England.

Great Northern Railway, its development in Canada, 137-138, 187, 228-32.

Great Western Railway, building of, 40, 41, 46-7, 54, 55, 69, 70, 77, 84, 86-7, 91, 94, 95, 97, 99, 104-5; acquired by the Grand Trunk, 179.

Guarantee Acts, to aid railway building, 55, 69, 71, 84, 86.

Gutelius, F. P., manager of the Intercolonial, 234.

Gzowski and Co., railway contractors, 77, 81 n.

Hays, Charles M., 246; president of the Grand Trunk, 200-1, 203-4, 206, 212, 215; drowned in the 'Titanic' disaster, 202.

Hill, James J., and the C.P. Syndicate, 133, 134, 136 n., 137 and note, 141, 151, 162; and the Great Northern, 138 n., 228-30.

Hincks, Sir Francis, 52, 53, 246; his railway policy, 53-4, 56, 69, 70-1, 72-3, 88; and railway enterprises, 65-6, 73-6, 122.

Holt, H. S., and the Canadian Northern, 184.

Holton, Luther, his railway enterprises, 70, 71, 74-6, 81 n., 84.

Howe, Joseph, 52, 53, 246; his railway campaign in England, 62-4, 65-6, 69, 70; and state ownership, 66-7; his prophecy, 113.

Howland, Sir William, his railway syndicate, 143, 145.

Hudson, 'King,' railway promoter, 38, 47.

Hudson Bay Railway, 237-8.

Intercolonial Railway, 59-60, 98; building of, 105-8, 179; later development, 233-7.

Jackson, Henry, railway contractor, 73, 75, 76.

Jaffray, Robert, 179.

Keefer, Thomas C., a distinguished engineer, 36, 246.

Kennedy, John S., and the C.P. Syndicate, 132, 136 n., 137 n., 141, 151.

Kittson, Norman W., and the St Paul and Pacific, 133, 134, 136 n.

Lash, Z. A., and the Canadian Northern, 184.

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 246; his railway policy, 188, 190, 192, 207, 210.

Liverpool and Manchester Railway, 2-4, 36.

Mabee, Justice, chairman of Railway Commission, 232-3, 243.

M'Carthy, D'Alton, and a Railway Commission, 171.

Macdonald, Sir John, 246; and the C.P.R., 115, 116, 122, 124-6, 128-9, 130, 140, 141-2, 158, 210.

Macdonnell, Allan, railway promoter, 113-14.

M'Intyre, Duncan, and the C.P.R., 139-40, 141, 150, 157.

Mackenzie, Alexander, and the C.P.R., 127-8.

Mackenzie, William, 246; and the Canadian Northern, 183-5, 189-90, 192.

M'Lean, S. J., his report on railways, 243.

M'Mullen, G. W., and the Pacific Scandal, 121-2, 123, 124.

MacNab, Sir Allan, promotes the Great Western, 47, 53.

Macpherson, D. L., his railway enterprises, 70, 71, 74-6, 81 n., 84, 123-4.

Manitoba, railways of, 176-7, 183, 185, 186, 233, 237; grants in aid, 191, 192, 241.

Mann, Donald, and the Canadian Northern, 183-5, 189-90, 192.

Maritime Provinces, their network of roads, 18; their railway projects and policy, 55-69, 93, 104 n.; and the Intercolonial, 106-8, 237; and the Grand Trunk Pacific, 207-8.

Merritt, W. Hamilton, and the Welland Canal, 90-1.

Midland Railway, 100, 179, 183, 230.

Minnesota venture, the, 131-9.

Mississippi, transport development on the, 31-2.

Mitchell, Peter, and the Intercolonial, 107.

Montreal, and the St Lawrence and Atlantic Railway, 42-4, 60.

Morse, Frank, manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific, 215.

Mount Stephen, Lord, and the C.P. Syndicate, 134-7; and the C.P.R., 139, 140, 141, 150, 157 and note, 221-2, 246.

Municipal Loan Fund, the, 88-90.

National Transcontinental Railway, 172, 233, 236.

New Brunswick, railways in, 67-9, 102, 103 n., 175; grants in aid, 241. See Maritime Provinces.

Northern Railway, building of, 40, 41, 47-8, 55, 69, 84, 87-8, 94, 100, 104 n.; acquired by the Grand Trunk, 179.

Northern Pacific Railway, 116, 121 n., 134, 157, 166, 177, 186, 230.

North-West Rebellion, the, and the C.P.R., 164-5.

Nova Scotia, railways in, 67, 102, 103 n., 188; grants in aid, 192, 241. See Maritime Provinces.

Ontario, railways in, 40, 41, 45-8, 49, 50-1, 80, 89-92, 98-101, 103 n., 175, 216, 233; and the C.P.R. contract, 123; grants in aid, 103 n., 190, 191, 192, 216, 241.

Osler, E. B., and the C.P.R., 151.

Pacific Scandal, the, 120-7.

Palliser, Captain, his mistaken view regarding a railway to the Pacific, 117.

Papineau, L. J., and state ownership of railways, 49.

Peto, Brassey, Betts and Jackson, 66. See Brassey.

Poor, John A., 246; his railway enterprises, 42-4, 60-1, 114.

Pope, John Henry, and the C.P.R., 139, 140, 158.

Prince Edward Island, its railway, 103, 233. See Maritime Provinces.

Quebec, railways in, 36-40, 41-5, 49, 92, 101-2, 103 n.; grants in aid, 103 n., 190-1, 241.

Quebec and Richmond Railway, 75, 80, 81 n.

Railway Commission, the, 171-172, 243.

Railways, development of, 1, 4-12, 244-6; the gauge question, 95-8; narrow-gauge lines, 98-100, 103, 224; wooden rails, 101-2; railway profits, 50, 79, 82, 86, 94, 95, 121; railway jobbery, 85-6, 170-1 and note, 213, 235 n., 236; grants in aid, 103 and note, 170-1, 241-2; 'ticket scalping,' 172. See under Canada.

Reciprocity Treaty, the, 80.

Richelieu, Cardinal, and the power of steam, 7.

Rivers-Wilson, Sir Charles, president of the Grand Trunk, 199-200, 202.

Robinson, Major, his railway survey, 59-60, 107.

Rogers, Major, his C.P.R. route through the Rockies, 162.

Ross, A. M., and the Grand Trunk, 77, 79.

Ross, James, and the Canadian Northern, 184.

Ross, John, first president of the Grand Trunk, 76.

Rosser, General, and the C.P.R., 152.

Ruskin, John, his opinion of the railway, 11.

Sage, Russell, and the St Paul and Pacific, 132.

St Lawrence, the canal system of the, 15-16, 34-5; river steamers of, 25.

St Lawrence and Atlantic Railway, 40, 41, 42-5, 54, 55, 69, 70, 75-6, 79.

St Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway, 128, 132, 134, 137, 151, 228. See Great Northern.

Saskatchewan, railways in, 184, 216, 224-5; grants in aid, 192, 241.

Scott, W. L., and the C.P.R., 154.

Shaughnessy, Sir Thomas, president of the C.P.R., 222-223, 246.

Simpson, Sir George, his record journey to the Pacific, 109-12.

Smith, Donald, 133. See Strathcona, Lord.

Stephen, George. See Mount Stephen, Lord.

Stephenson, George, his locomotive triumph, 2-5, 10.

Stickney, A. B., and the C.P.R., 152.

Stockton and Darlington Railway, 2-3, 6.

Strathcona, Lord, 112 n.; and the C.P. Syndicate, 133-4, 141-2, 151, 157, 166, 246.

Surrey Iron Railway, 6.

Tache, E. P., his railway advocacy, 65.

Timiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway, 216, 238-9.

Trans-Canada Railway, 187, 207.

Tupper, Sir Charles, minister of Railways, 139, 140, 141, 146, 158, 170.

Tyler, Sir Henry, president of the Grand Trunk, 140, 199.

United States, their transport development, 25, 32-3; competition with Canada for the western trade, 31-5, 39; railway development, 38, 52-3, 96, 115-16, 121; depression in, 198, 202; interrelations with Canada, 28, 50-1, 232-3.

Van Horne, Sir William, and the C.P.R., 148 n., 152, 159, 161, 164-5, 166, 205, 222, 246.

Waddington, Alfred, railway promoter, 115, 121, 122, 246.

Watkin, Edwin, his Pacific project, 114.

Watt, James, his reciprocating steam-engine, 9.

Young, John, his railway enterprises, 45, 65, 70, 114.

Zimmermann, Samuel, railway contractor, 47.

Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press


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